Tooth Abscess

(Dental Abscess; Abscessed Tooth)

Definition

A tooth abscess is a sac of infected material called pus in a tooth or the gums.
Abscess Between Tooth and Gum
Abscess tooth
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

A tooth abscess is caused by bacteria. It begins when bacteria invade and infect a tooth. This results in pus build-up. When the pus is unable to drain, an abscess results.Conditions that allow bacteria to invade a tooth include:
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Break or crack in a tooth that lets bacteria invade the pulp
  • Failed root canal treatment

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of a tooth abscess include:
  • Build up of tartar or calculus beneath the gum line
  • Poor dental hygiene leading to cavities and periodontal diseases

Symptoms

A tooth abscess may cause:
  • Throbbing/lingering pain in a tooth or gum area
  • Pain when biting
  • Pain from hot or cold
  • Sudden tooth pain
  • Redness, tenderness, or swelling of the gums
  • Fever
  • Bad breath or foul taste in mouth
  • Open, draining sore on the gums
If left untreated, complications of tooth abscess include:
  • Loss of tooth and surrounding tissues or bone
  • Spread of infection to surrounding tissue or bone

Diagnosis

Your dentist will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A detailed exam of your teeth and gums will be done. Images may need to be taken of the tooth and surrounding bone. This can be done with x-ray. A sample of the abscess fluid may be taken and tested.

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals


Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
March 2015

Many medical groups felt that early exposure to certain foods like peanuts increased a child's risk of developing food allergies. However, newer research including this trial suggest that early exposure may actually decrease the risk of developing food allergies.

dot separator
previous editions

Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
February 2015

Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
February 2015

Research Review Finds Little Support for Nearly Half of Medical Talk Show Recommendations
January 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook